Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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German East Africa

(848 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
German East Africa Situated on the coast of the Indian Ocean, between Portuguese Mozambique to the south, British East Africa to the north, and the Belgian Congo to the west, German East Africa comprised the modern states of Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi. Declared a territory of the German Reich in 1885, with 7.5 million inhabitants the country was the most populous German colony, and at 995,000 km2 also the largest. Some 5,300 Europeans lived in the colony in 1914. The British government decided to capture German East Africa as early as August 1914. As with t…

Ardour and Anxiety: Politics and Literature in the Indian Homefront

(10,932 words)

Author(s): Das, Santanu
Das, Santanu - Ardour and Anxiety: Politics and Literature in the Indian Homefront Keywords: India | Home fronts | Literature | Society | Religion | Women and War | The French and British Empires | Visual Arts | Masculinity The World in World Wars Heike Liebau, Katrin Bromber , Katharina Lange , Dyala Hamzah and Ravi Ahuja , (2010) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2010 e-ISBN: 9789004188471 DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004185456.i-618.82 © 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Das, Santanu

George V, King of Great Britain and Ireland

(357 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
George V, King of Great Britain and Ireland (June 3, 1865, London – January 20, 1936, Sandringham), king of Great Britain and Ireland (from 1910; from 1921 “of Northern Ireland”; from 1911 also “Emperor of India”). Grandson of Queen Victoria; originally third in succession to the throne. He received military training in the Royal Navy before succeeding his father Edward VII on the throne in 1910. After the outbreak of the First World War, George won great popularity with several visits to the front (on …

Introduction

(10,019 words)

Contributor(s): Liebau, Heike | Lange, Katharina | Bromber, Katrin | Ahuja, Ravi | Hamzah, Dyala
Liebau, Heike; Bromber, Katrin; Lange, Katharina; Hamzah, Dyala; Ahuja, Ravi - The World in World Wars Keywords: Politics | India | Africa | Culture | Middle East | East Africa | Western Front | Society | Experience of combat | The French and British Empires The World in World Wars Heike Liebau, Katrin Bromber , Katharina Lange , Dyala Hamzah and Ravi Ahuja , (2010) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2010 e-ISBN: 9789004188471 DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004185456.i-618.5 © 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands

Introduction: Warfare, Society and the Indian Army during the Two World Wars

(10,925 words)

Author(s): Roy, Kaushik
Roy, Kaushik - Introduction: Warfare, Society and the Indian Army during the Two World Wars Keywords: colonial India | Indian Army | World Wars ISFWWS-Keywords: India | Soldiers and Combat | Legacy | Military organisation of combat | Middle East | Western Front Abstract: The Indian Army was the largest government employer in colonial India. During the two World Wars, the Indian Army numbered more than a million. The Indian Army played an important role as an imperial reserve. This chapter introduces the essays in this book…

Armed Forces (Great Britain)

(4,680 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Armed Forces (Great Britain) The First World War was a highly unpleasant experience for the British. The perception of this war in public opinion was once summed up by the historian A.J.P. Taylor in the disparaging words “brave, helpless soldiers; blundering, obstinate generals; nothing achieved.” This negative view was primarily the consequence of the losses of human life, as the number of casualties among the soldiers was without precedent in the history of Great Britain. The majority of these los…

Command in the Indian Expeditionary Force D: Mesopotamia, 1915–16

(16,682 words)

Author(s): Syk, Andrew
Syk, Andrew - Command in the Indian Expeditionary Force D: Mesopotamia, 1915–16 Keywords: Baghdad | First World War | Indian Army commanders | Indian Expeditionary Force | Mesopotamia ISFWWS-Keywords: India | Middle East | Military organisation of combat | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | The French and British Empires | Experience of combat Abstract: The growth of German influence within the Ottoman Empire, after the turn of the century and manifested in construction of the Baghdad Railway, threatened British influence and trade in…

Dumdum Bullets

(219 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Dumdum Bullets Bullets having their lead core left uncovered at the point (semi-jacketed bullet), or having an unjacketed, but cylindrically bored point (hollow-point bullet). Owing to their construction, the bullets have a somewhat reduced power of penetration. At a short distance, however, they produce large wounds that heal with difficulty. The bullets are named after the Indian town of Dum Dum, where a munitions factory first produced semi-jacketed bullets for the British forces in the 1890s. …

French, Sir John

(383 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
French, Sir John (September 28, 1852, Ripple Vale, Kent – May 21, 1925, Deal), British field marshal and British Army Commander in Chief on the Western Front 1914/1915. French’s early career included the usual colonial postings in Egypt and India. He first gained a reputation as a courageous and energetic officer as commander of a cavalry division in the Boer War (1899–1902). The war led to further key posts, not least owing to the fact that French mixed easily with politicians, especially liberal …

Mesopotamia

(1,089 words)

Author(s): Neulen, Hans Werner
Mesopotamia The territory between the Euphrates and the Tigris, which now lies in Iraq, belonged to the Ottoman Empire from the 16th century onward. For the British, the occupation of this barren and remote territory, which was only weakly defended by the Turks, held interesting prospects for a variety of reasons: the exploitation of the region’s oilfields offered promising economic perspectives, while the geographical situation of Mesopotamia at the crossroads of a land route connecting India, s…

Morale of the Indian Army in the Mesopotamia Campaign: 1914–17

(10,604 words)

Author(s): Gardner, Nikolas
Gardner, Nikolas - Morale of the Indian Army in the Mesopotamia Campaign: 1914–17 Keywords: Indian Army | Indian Morale | Kut-Al-Amara | Mesopotamia campaign ISFWWS-Keywords: India | Middle East | Experience of combat | The French and British Empires | Soldiers and Combat | Middle East | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Published memoirs and biographies Abstract: This chapter use the contractual model to explain the morale of Indian soldiers during the Mesopotamia campaign, focusing in particular on the period prior to the surrender of…

From Loyalty to Dissent: Punjabis from the Great War to World War II

(12,431 words)

Author(s): Mazumder, Rajit K.
Mazumder, Rajit K. - From Loyalty to Dissent: Punjabis from the Great War to World War II Keywords: Ghadar | Punjabis | rural loyalty | World War II ISFWWS-Keywords: India | Home fronts | The French and British Empires | Politics | Soldiers and Combat | Violence against civilians Abstract: This chapter discusses the unique relationship between communities recruited from Punjab and the colonial state in British India between c.1914 and c.1947. It demonstrates the loyalty of enlisted groups, reciprocating decades of favourable tre…

Uniforms

(1,390 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Jürgen
Uniforms At the beginning of the war, the armies of most warring states were outfitted with a special field uniform, camouflaged to blend into the terrain, in addition to their colorful parade uniforms. Such a camouflage uniform was necessary because of modern weapons technology including smokeless powder. This was already well known from the Boer Wars and the Russo-Japanese War. Still, camouflage uniforms dated back to the colonial wars of the 19th century. Based on experience in India, Great Br…

Armed Forces (United States)

(3,756 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
Armed Forces (United States) During the First World War the armed forces of the United States were crafted by national politics. The Russian Provisional Government of 1917 had promised resolutely to continue the war in the East. On the Western Front, the Germans were unequivocally on the defensive. In no way was America itself directly threatened. Nevertheless, the pattern developed in the World War would guide the United States in 20th century warfare. Politics would determine the strategy, the org…

Indian Soldiers’ Experiences in France during World War I: Seeing Europe from the Rear of the Front

(11,168 words)

Author(s): Markovits, Claude
Markovits, Claude - Indian Soldiers’ Experiences in France during World War I: Seeing Europe from the Rear of the Front Keywords:

Naval Blockade

(1,483 words)

Author(s): Neitzel, Sönke
Naval Blockade During the World War, the Allied naval blockade brought German foreign trade practic…

India

(1,806 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
India In August 1914, the Indian subcontinent was the most important pillar of the British Empire. After the start of the First World War India’s importance to the war effort was apparent in the considerable numbers of Indian soldiers employed on the Allied fronts in Europe, Africa, and Asia. By the end of 1918, some 1.5 million Indians had been mobilized for the war. Of these, almost 900,000 belonged to fighting units. More than 60,000 Indian soldiers died in the war and about the same number suffered wounds. It was originally envisaged that only restricted use should be made of Indian soldiers, and then mainly in Egypt, where they would release the British garrison for employment in Europe. In view of the small number of British administrators and law enforcement personnel for a population of some 300 million, British exercise of power in India remained precariously dependent on the collaboration of indigenous peoples. As any variation in the balance of power could wreck this structure, the main con…

Soldiers’ Jargon

(393 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
Soldiers’ Jargon In all armies in the First World War there developed during the war a vocabulary specific to the group. Soldiers’ jargon related primarily to soldiers’ immediate environment at the front and in rest areas; at its center were duties, equipment, and weapons. In general, soldiers’ jargon followed a minimizing tendency: for example, describing large caliber artillery shells as “coal boxes,” hand grenades as “pineapples,” and an artillery attack as “calico” or “music.” Onomatopoeic ele…

Hamilton, Sir Ian

(524 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Hamilton, Sir Ian (January 16, 1853, Corfu – October 12, 1947, London), British general. After attending private school, and graduating from the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, Hamilton entered the army in 1873. His early career was marked by his participation in colonial wars, among them the Afghan War (1878–1880), the Boer War of 1881, the Nile Expedition (1884/1885), the Burma Expedition (1886/1887), the Relief of Chitral (1895), and the Tirah Campaign (1897/98). He gained not only battle e…

The Indian Cavalry Divisions in Somme: 1916

(13,244 words)

Author(s): Kenyon, David
Kenyon, David - The Indian Cavalry Divisions in Somme: 1916 Keywords:
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